A STUNNING late strike from Southend United’s Ryan Leonard inflicted Bury's fifth away defeat of the League One season, writes Chris Phillips.

The Shakers had done more than enough to secure a share of the spoils at Roots Hall, and probably should have been celebrating their first league win away from home in seven attempts.

But after being denied by a combination of Shrimpers stopper Mark Oxley and the woodwork, Leonard’s long-range strike, six minutes from time, secured an undeserved 1-0 win for the home side.

Bury forward Chris Maguire had the first meaningful shot on target but his 25-yard free kick was tipped over the crossbar by Oxley.

Moments later, Maguire’s lofted effort – when clean through on goal – was again kept out by Oxley before Shakers striker Michael Smith headed wide of the post when well placed inside the penalty area.

Southend momentarily threatened at the start of the second half with Simon Cox heading Michael Kightly’s corner wide of the far post.

Shakers goalkeeper Joe Murphy, back after an injury lay-off, then denied Shrimpers defender Jason Demetriou from long range before Bury came closest to taking the lead when Harry Bunn’s powerful effort was tipped onto the crossbar by Oxley.

And the missed opportunities proved costly for the Shakers, who remain in the bottom four, three points behind Tuesday's opponents Oldham, after Leonard netted to end a run of three games without a win for Southend.